Who Should Fire Your Managers

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Scenario: "Dude, only upper management can fire managers. Yay! High-five!" Think of this 'oh-what-in-the-mutha' radical idea:

  • What if basketball players could fire their coach?
  • What if rap dancers could fire their choreographers?
  • What if actors could fire their employees?
  • What if employees could fire their managers?

What would happen?

  1. Stronger teams.
  2. Fattened accountability.
  3. Retention of kick-ass leaders.
  4. Kur-razzy financial results.

Most companies run pyramid hierarchies, giving the typical 'manager' freakish power over employees they manage; that destroys much incentive for that manager to serve employees efficiently. Instead, start enacting our beloved upside-down pyramid -- giving more power to those that actually affect the bottom line most.

Where Companies Go Wrong

In a typical company's manager-employee relationship:

  • Manager: "You're not fattening the pipeline. Do it, or that's your butt."
  • Employee -- saving face: "Okay, I will try my hardest again."
  • Employee really thinks: "You're not providing sufficient resources, yo!"

When the manager sucks, the employee gets fired. And, that's a shame because most managers freakishly suck at their jobs -- leaving their potential superstar employees left to dry. (Just count how many ridiculously sucky managers you've had in the past.)

The Manager's Job

Manager Mikey's job isn't to serve upper-management; it's to serve his team's players. So, if the team players think he's leading them insufficiently, they can fire him -- and get another leader (within or outside the organization). The crazy effect that has on Mikey:

  • "Oh !@#$! I better lead them efficiently, or it's my @ss!"
  • "I can't slack off! Or, they'll get me!"
  • "I better be sure I'm the best person for the job or else!"

Instead of resting on his laurels, Mikey starts diligently providing sufficient resources for his players to succeed. Yay for him.

"But wait! Is that all?!"

Nope; the hierarchy chain follows that sweet upside-down pyramid. Peep this:

  1. Manager Mikey's team players can fire him as their leader.
  2. Manager Mikey can fire his Superior Susie as his leader.
  3. Superior Susie can fire her higher-up as her leader.
  4. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

That ensures the right leaders are efficiently serving each and everyone of your people.

"Wait; but, wait! And who fires the employees?"

Build processes such that awesome employees thrive, and sucky employees drive themselves out the door -- quickly. We mentioned a method last week. Even better: have team players manage their peers -- such that if the team feels Billy is dead weight, they'll kick his booty out to conserve resources. (And even ten times better: let customers manage those front-line workers -- deciding who's staying, and who needs to go. That's the beauty of the upside-down pyramid.) That ensures every-freakin-body is serving everybody else. Yay your organization: Your workforce soon becomes super-optimized. When do you know you're your building a high-flying workforce? When a team of employees can tell their managers/leaders and peers:

'You fired, you lazy !@#$%-!@#. !@#$!'

 

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Posted on April 15


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